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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 33 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [DITV] We keep stumbling when it comes to the supernatural stuff  (Read 5664 times)
lumpley
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2010, 07:08:43 AM »

st, I had been mentally preparing to do a conflict with them to cure Jebediah, which would have been a 4d6+Demonic Influence conflict with just the demons. Since Nicodemus's poltergeist is actually a sorcerous attack I probably should have used a sorcerer NPC as the opposition. Second, when figuring out the Demonic Influence I started reading the chart from the bottom and stopped at 2d10 because they hadn't witnessed any heresy yet, even though they had witnessed the results of hate and murder, so I could have been using 5d10.
Correct on both counts! Furthermore, remember that a sorcerer can throw Demonic Influence into his side of any conflict he likes, with supernatural special effects, and that this can count as revealing to the Dogs that there's a sorcerer in town.

The only place I really want to go with the conversation is here: is the supernatual working better for you than it was? Since you're still mid-town, you may not be able to answer yet.

I have a suggestion for you for next time the Dogs get themselves arrested (and for the benefit of anyone reading along): "Cool. Next morning they bring you in front of the judge. What's at stake is, do they hang you?"

-Vincent
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Dan Maruschak
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« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2010, 07:52:54 AM »

The only place I really want to go with the conversation is here: is the supernatual working better for you than it was? Since you're still mid-town, you may not be able to answer yet.
Yes it is working better, although we haven't gone deep into the stuff that causes me trouble yet. I think my problem is in understanding the intersection of a few things: certain things in the game are the purview of the players' subjective judgments, certain things are GM decisions, certain things are consequences of the fiction, and there's a stake-setting conflict system. The supernatural stuff seems to make these different areas run into each other more than other types of conflict. For example, when we were discussing the stakes of the conflict with Renee, one of the players was thinking along the lines of "we want to cut off her power". At the time I said I didn't like that for essentially pacing reasons -- it seemed lame to me to have a conflict that would essentially nullify her when she had just been introduced as an on-screen character. But if we had gone forward with something like that, I'm not sure how to handle it. Do the conflict with stakes like that and stop using her sorcerer powers if they win? Or maybe steer the focus toward the fictional elements that qualify her as a sorcerer (believes false doctrine, has a following)? Both? Neither? It's my understanding that the PCs are supposed to be able to say something along the lines of "It isn't demonic, it is really the will of the King of Life acting through her", but my GM decisions seem to have something to say about the truth value of statements like that. When it comes to the in-fiction stuff that's going on I think I'm fine with actively revealing stuff, but I am concerned about stepping on a space that is supposed to be left to the players' interpretation when I talk directly about the GM's mechanical decisions regarding the supernatural.
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lumpley
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« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2010, 08:45:14 AM »

It's my understanding that the PCs are supposed to be able to say something along the lines of "It isn't demonic, it is really the will of the King of Life acting through her", but my GM decisions seem to have something to say about the truth value of statements like that.

Uh! Well.

What the PCs say doesn't have any reach into what you've decided as GM. The players don't decide what's a sin, who's a sorceress (and who isn't), what's demonic, anything like that. You do, exclusively; what you decide during town creation is binding on play.

I don't know where the idea came from that the players, through their Dogs, get to say what's a sin and what's God's will. It's sure not in the book.

-Vincent
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Dan Maruschak
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2010, 10:09:38 AM »

What the PCs say doesn't have any reach into what you've decided as GM. The players don't decide what's a sin, who's a sorceress (and who isn't), what's demonic, anything like that. You do, exclusively; what you decide during town creation is binding on play.
But it's my impression that they do decide what their subjective opinions are -- they can decide that they don't think it's a sin. But if they can ask me, and I tell them what the "objective truth" is, then it feels like I am taking away their ability to decide. Or am I wrong in assuming this is something I should be leaving open for the players to decide?

Quote
I don't know where the idea came from that the players, through their Dogs, get to say what's a sin and what's God's will. It's sure not in the book.
I assume it's an extrapolation from the idea that Dogs have authority to speak on what is or isn't correct doctrine. I think the idea is pretty strongly entrenched in the community around the game, though. (My interpretation isn't that their decisions are necessarily binding on the world and/or GM, but that these are the kinds of decisions that Dogs are supposed to make).
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lumpley
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« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2010, 10:53:06 AM »

If a Dog holds an opinion that's counter to what's written on your town writeup, that's okay. Strictly, it's none of your business; what a Dog thinks and feels is between the Dog and his player. However, it IS your business to make sure that conflicts' stakes are really at stake, so somewhere down the line, often, yes, you'll want to make sure that the player knows that her Dog is mistaken about what's going on.

Then it's up to the player whether her Dog realizes his mistake or persists in error.

-Vincent
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Noclue
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2010, 04:09:49 PM »

Yes. It's perfectly okay for a player to say "This isn't Demonic, it's the King's will." And it's perfectly okay for you to turn to them and say "Neat. He touches you and you feel waves of evil unmooring your soul. That's my Raise. The stakes are do you pass out!"
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James R.
Noclue
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2010, 04:23:26 PM »

I assume it's an extrapolation from the idea that Dogs have authority to speak on what is or isn't correct doctrine.
They have total authority to speak on doctrine. Getting authority over demons is gonna take dice.
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James R.
Dan Maruschak
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« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2010, 12:13:38 PM »

However, it IS your business to make sure that conflicts' stakes are really at stake, so somewhere down the line, often, yes, you'll want to make sure that the player knows that her Dog is mistaken about what's going on.
So... I guess I was doing it right all along, just inartfully? The game seems to be a lot more engaging when everybody's interacting with it through the fiction, and it seems sort of flow-breaking to interrupt and say, "it's cool if you want your Dog to believe that, but the woman's not actually possessed" (I also find it sort of flow-breaking when I have to say things like, "you know that's not within a woman's role in the faith, right?" when the players don't pick up on things I had intended to be divergent from the normal). Bringing it out to that very mechanical level seems like it leads to deflating logic-puzzle-style play, but if it's a necessary part of the game than maybe it's just an issue of skill -- we stumbled in those situations because I'm not good at doing it well. As I hypothesized earlier, the problems could also be related to our stake-setting in general: when stakes are limited to things that you could realistically get from your opponent if/when you win it's easier to keep the scope/specificity of the stakes in a place where there's lots of mutual understanding about what the story outcomes would be, but throwing the supernatural into the mix removes some of those "realism" constraints and you need to more consciously balance abstractions when figuring out good stakes for conflicts.

More AP, in case anyone's waiting for the conclusion

We had another session last night. Brother Nathaniel roused himself from his freak-out, and he tried to hold Renee still while Brother Phineas shot at her (a conflict with Renee with stakes of whether she would live or not). She called on the spirits to protect her (some of which I had appear as ghosts of people the Dogs had killed in previous towns, to make them suitably spooky and morally weighty). I rolled pretty well, but they chose to push as hard as they could and eat a lot of fallout rather than giving early. Michael (playing Phineas) had to give when the ghost of a woman that Phineas had suffocated in a previous town (basically, euthanasia since she was suffering from a debilitating chronic disease) started suffocating him, but Simon (playing Nathaniel) was able to hold on long enough to give a raise I couldn't match and shot Renee between the eyes. They rolled fallout and both ended up with the medical attention conflict, but they had so much fallout that neither one made it out alive (although Simon was one or two dice away from doing it). In general we really enjoyed DITV, despite the hiccups, even though it was a bit more gut-wrenching than the games we usually play. Since all the PCs died it was a natural break point and we decided to switch to a different game next week so I could take a break from GMing for a while.
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Mathew E. Reuther
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I came, I saw, I ordered the burrito . . .


« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2010, 12:46:50 PM »

What I'd hope to see (and it's your game group) is a return to DitV with the same players after you've had a break and to see if the next run shows any differences.

Having read bits and pieces of Dogs it seems to me that the atypical setting makes for an experience which would improve with experience.

If you do end up revisiting the game, please do let us all know if this is the case, or if the same kinds of issues are arising. It's quite interesting to read your accounts.
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